RIYADH: A prominent figure in the Islamic Awakening (Sahwa) movement has apologized to Saudi Arabia for what he described as its offenses against Islam.
“I am today supportive of the moderate Islam, open to the world, which has been called for by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” the Saudi cleric, scholar and author Ayed Al-Qarni said.
“We invite the world to come over ... our religion was sent as a mercy and safety to mankind,” he said during a Ramadan show on the Rotana Khalijia channel. “In the name of Al-Sahwa, I apologize to Saudi society for the mistakes that have contradicted the Qur’an and Sunnah, and contradicted the tolerance of Islam, a moderate religion.”
The Sahwa movement, which peaked in the 1990s, was a faction of Saudi Qutbism — an Islamist ideology developed by Sayyid Qutb, the figurehead of the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was led by a number of hate preachers including Safar Al-Hawali and Salman Al-Ouda. The movement’s origins stem from when Muslim Brotherhood members fled prosecution in Egypt in the 1950s and 1960s, and sought refuge in Saudi Arabia.
They demanded a bigger role for clergy in governing and a more conservative society as a defense against Western cultural influences. They also opposed the presence of US troops on “Muslim land.” In the same TV interview, Al-Qarni also spoke of Qatar’s role in luring Sahwa clerics.
“The further away you are from our country (Saudi Arabia), the more they (Qataris) like you... and give money, villas for those who oppose Saudi Arabia,” he said.
In an Arab News special series we focus on the "Preachers of Hate" who preach messages of
In a series that exposes the purveyors of hate, Arab News exposes the people, the movements and their ideologies. “Preachers of Hate” looks at movements such as the Sahwa movement, which was was a faction of Saudi Qutbism - an Islamist ideologydeveloped by Sayyed Qutb.
Read more: Now read about other preachers of hate